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Feed composition analysis

This page considers the cost of the protein component in dairy cow feed rations and allows to analyze the cost of protein contained in different protein-rich animal feed sources.
Goal of the page is to promote an economic analysis of the protein component in the feed so as to allow the selection of the best possible protein source, bearing of course in mind that any change of ingredients in the feed ration implies synergic reactions which must be carefully assessed.

The first chart exhibits the monthly market value of 100 kg of the Simulated Feed Ration.
The Simulated Feed Ration is a theoretical feed model exclusively based on the use of corn and soybean extraction meal 44%; this has been taken as a model since the two constituent ingredients are price drivers for all the raw materials available on the market. This feed ration can therefore be used as an indication for the cost trend of concentrated feed.
Composition of the Simulated Feed Ration is as follows:
Corn meal70%
Soybean extraction meal 44% protein30%
Raw protein as fed19%
Value in MFU1,05
The Simulated Feed Ration, fed in amounts varying between 11 and 13 kilograms, with the addition of forages of corn silage and hay (for the production of liquid milk and Grana Padano) or of only hay (for the production of Parmigiano Reggiano), allows to cover the theoretical production requirements of a multiparous cow producing 30 kg of milk with a 4% fat content. The monthly price of the products corresponds to the average monthly quotation of the Commodities Exchange of the Milan Chamber of Commerce.

The second chart shows the weight (in percentage) of the price of each of the two components on the total cost of the Simulated Feed Ration as well as the price percentage variation compared to the previous month.

The third chart compares the Simulated Feed Ration Cost and the Farm-gate Milk Price in Lombardy (Italy).

The fourth chart exhibits the "Milk:Feed Ratio", defined as the price of 100kg of Farm-gate Milk in Lombardy (Italy) / the cost of 100kg of Simulated Feed Ration The Milk:Feed Ratio represents how many kg of Simulated Feed Ration could be purchased with the gross revenue from 1kg of milk at the stated price.

The fifth chart shows the cost of protein obtained from different animal feeds. The calculation is as follows: market value of the feed / protein titre (as fed) The protein titre for each product is included in the table.
The market value considered corresponds to the monthly average of the weekly quotations of the Commodities Exchange of the Milan Chamber of Commerce. Source of the protein titre used is INEA - Istituto Nazionale di Economia Agraria.

Page compiled with the contribution of Dr. Roberto Preti, Veterinary Physician.

Chart 1.

Chart 2.

Show/Hide the historical trend of the average monthly price
of Italian Corn


€/ton Italy, Milan - Monthly average price

2004 2009 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 % on prev. month % on 2018
January 188 131 190 150 173 178 177 187 +2,19% +5,52%
February 191 134 190 146 174 180 177 185 -0,80% +4,82%
March 186 129 197 146 171 182 179 182 -1,42% +1,96%
April 186 132 197 148 177 182 185 181 -0,59% -1,87%
May 185 150 196 143 185 183 190 180 -0,85% -5,52%
June 168 150 192 140 204 185 191 184 +2,09% -3,67%
July 153 140 188 154 194 190 189
August 138 131 195 156 185 185 195
September 123 127 168 157 171 178 185
October 125 135 155 167 170 176 182
November 126 138 148 174 176 178 181
December 125 142 147 171 177 178 183
Average 158 137 179 154 180 181 184 183
Change (1) +6,96% -13,51% +31,29% -13,90% +16,32% +0,85% +1,54% +0,02%
Milan Chamber of Commerce
1) change from the same period of previous year , except for years 2004, 2009, 2014, where the change is from the same period 5 years ago
  = min price
= max price
Show/Hide the historical trend of the average monthly price
of Italian Soybean extraction meal 44%


€/ton Italy, Milan - Monthly average price

2004 2009 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 % on prev. month % on 2018
January 286 349 467 414 333 387 346 349 -1,48% +1,09%
February 282 351 471 418 329 388 386 339 -3,08% -12,36%
March 319 322 480 418 325 369 406 336 -0,66% -17,13%
April 335 359 494 410 340 355 431 338 +0,37% -21,69%
May 312 385 483 381 405 346 451 332 -1,56% -26,33%
June 264 372 456 376 435 334 391 354 +6,40% -9,65%
July 238 348 408 401 415 339 371
August 221 353 410 382 373 318 362
September 211 335 393 369 355 319 349
October 204 325 393 364 357 329 358
November 197 337 416 359 374 327 355
December 203 345 414 342 375 343 355
Average 256 348 440 386 367 346 381 341
Change (1) +41,81% +36,16% +26,45% -12,37% -4,82% -5,73% +9,94% -15,24%
Milan Chamber of Commerce
1) change from the same period of previous year , except for years 2004, 2009, 2014, where the change is from the same period 5 years ago
  = min price
= max price

Chart 3.


Show/Hide the comparison between the Simulated Feed Ration Cost and
the Farm-gate Milk Price in Lombardy (Italy) since 2009



Show/Hide the comparison between the Simulated Feed Ration Cost and
the Farm-gate Milk Price in Lombardy (Italy), Germany and France


Chart 4.

The following chart represents how many kg of Simulated Feed Ration could be purchased with the gross revenue from 1kg of milk.

Chart 5.

The values presented in the following chart show the cost of 1000 g (1kg) of protein obtained from the raw materials considered.

Example: the value of Italian soybean extraction meal 44% on January 2013 was equal to 1.02. This means that the price of 1000 g of protein provided by Italian soybean extraction meal 44% was in that month of €1,02.
Feed Protein Content
% as fed
Rapeseed extraction meal 34.4
Whole grain sunflower extraction meal 24.0
Decorticated sunflower extraction meal 33.6
Foreign soybean extraction meal 44% 43.4
Italian soybean extraction meal 44% 43.4
Foreign decorticated soybean extraction meal 49.0
Italian decorticated soybean extraction meal 49.0

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